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The 10 Most Profitable 80's Remakes

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | October 16, 2011 | Comments ()


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It looks like the 80's remake trend is about to run its course. After the commercial failures of Arthur, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night this year, two more were released over the weekend, and while both films may ultimately reap a profit, it won't be a large one. Footloose opened at number two this weekend, but overall, it was a very weak one at the box-office. It's $16.1 million looks to eventually put it ahead of its $24 million budget (particularly once worldwide figures are accounted for), but it's not a big win for Paramount, and hardly worth sullying the original over. Still, it fared better than this weekend's other 80's remake, The Thing, which pulled down a meager $8.7 million. The budget was low, but Universal won't turn much -- if any -- profit on this one, either. That's 0 for 6 in 2011, unless I'm forgetting an 80's remake (there are so many these days, it's hard to keep up).

That should at least prevent Hollywood from remaking other 80's movies with Kenny Loggins' dominated soundtracks. Sorry, Over the Top remake. The trend wasn't a complete failure for Hollywood, however. Before they exhausted it, they did turn a buck or three on these ten titles, the most profitable ten of the bunch

Worldwide Gross and Budget are in parenthesis, respectively.


1. Clash of the Titans ($493 million) ($125 million) = $368 million profit

2. Karate Kid (Projected: $359million) ($40 million) = $319 million profit

3. My Bloody Valentine ($100 million) ($15 million) = $85 million profit

4. Nightmare on Elm Street ($115 million) ($35 million) = $80 million profit

5. Friday the 13th ($91 million) ($18 million) = $73 million profit

6. The A-Team ($177 million) ($110 million) = $67 million profit

7. The Dukes of Hazzard ($111 million) ($50 million) = $61 million profit

8. Fame ($77 million) ($18 million) = $59 million profit

9. Prom Night ($57 million) ($20 million) = $37 million profit

10. Miami Vice ($163 million) ($135 million) = $28 million profit

You can see from those numbers up top why they're making a sequel to Clash of the Titans, despite the fact that it was not well received and despite the fact that it barely edged out a profit stateside. Apparently, the rest of the world loves shitty 3D.

Let's put a nail in the 80's remake coffin now, shall we?

The weekend's other new entry, The Big Year, fared even worse than the 80's remakes, although it featured one of the biggest stars of the 1980s in Steve Martin. He clearly doesn't have the drawing power he once did. The Big Year opened in eighth place, with only $3 million. That's on a $40 million budget (presumably most of that went to the talent, because there's very little in the film otherwise to justify the cost). Fox had a hell of a time marketing the The Big Year and, ultimately, couldn't bury the bird-watching angle deep enough.

As far as holdovers go, Real Steel held on to number one, with around $16.5 million, to bring its total to a little over $50 million. That's a victory in name only, as $50 million after 10 days on a $110 million movie with Hugh Jackman and fucking robots can't be considered a success. It's going to need to do well worldwide (and it is, so far) to recoup the budget and marketing. At number four, The Ides of March held decently, adding nearly another $8 million (it's nearly doubled its budget in two weeks). In at number five, Moneyball may be the sleeper hit of the fall, as it approaches $60 million overall.

In limited release this weekend, the once mighty Joel Schumacher continues his descent into obscurity: His Trespass, with Nicole Kidman and Nic Cage, only mustered $18,000 in 10 theaters, enough to assure that it won't go much wider. I don't see how it even beats the $183,000 gross of his last bomb, Twelve. Meanwhile, Texas Killing Fields, from Michael Mann's daughter, Ami Canaan Mann, didn't fare too well, either, despite having Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in its cast. It opened with $9,600 in three theaters, hardly enough worth rolling it out. However, Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In, with Antonio Banderas, did moderate business, making $231,000 in six theaters.



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